student-teacher bond

Lunch Break

Sergio seemed a bit out of it yesterday and today. He looked tired, sad…just out of it. I think I asked him about twenty times if he was okay. About twenty times he said he was fine. Today he showed up the same way. “I’m just tired”, he said. Sergio is one of my favorite […]

Why You Gotta Make Me Keep Writing So Much?

Teaching writing to seventh graders is often quite tedious. Most of the kids really don’t want to write and, if they do, they don’t want to go through the arduous process of revising, editing and re-writing. Still I love what I do…most days. This year, I am really enjoying using our new software that allows […]

Why I Left the Classroom for Administration

“So there looks like there might be an opportunity for you.” At the time when I heard this, I was literally in the middle of having my best teaching year. My sixth grade blended learning classroom was going better than I could ever have imagined. I was “teaching like a PIRATE,” engaging and empowering my […]


Jack and His Plans for Next Year: “Mr. Ramsey!” I try hard to ignore goofy Jack who, at 13, still doesn’t know how to raise his hand to get my attention. “Mr. Ramsey!” I grit my teeth. Don’t give in, I say to myself. Don’t even look his way. “Mr. Ramsey!” Trying to stay strong, […]

Writer to Writer


Micah was the last to leave my reading class this morning at the college. He is one of twenty high school juniors taking my class for dual credit. I had written an online compliment for one of his assignments, letting him know that his writing was fantastic and definitely superior to the work of the […]

Head Start

My teaching career began thirty-five years ago in Coolidge, a little Arizona city located midway between Phoenix and Tucson. Before I received the call for an interview and subsequently traveled the desolate 70 mile freeway drive from the Valley, I barely knew of the city’s existence. By day, I taught Biology to freshman at the […]

Pass it to the Left


The last day of school is an easy one to stray from routines. Students are excited and teachers are tired. So when I went to visit classrooms this morning I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. As I entered the first classroom I noticed that everyone was sitting around in a circle. Just like they […]

Rico Revisited


There is an old saying among teachers that the students we teach are only in our classrooms a year but in our hearts forever. I’ve learned over and over again the truth in that adage. “Rico” was a cute little boy in kindergarten during my last stint as an assistant principal. He always made it […]

Can I Eat Witchu?


Third graders flew from their classrooms in an effort to be first on the playground equipment during their fifteen minute morning recess. Such “frivolous” use of school time was frowned upon by the experts, but those experts obviously never read the research supporting the effects of exercise, play and fresh air on the learner’s brain. […]